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Obesity Management in Children

Obesity Management in Children

Childhood obesity has become a global pandemic in many of the developed countries, leading to a host of medical conditions that contribute to increased morbidity and premature death and has turn out to be a major public health problem. It is directly associated with several health conditions including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, gallbladder disease and fatty liver disease as well as some cancers.

Aims of obesity management:

  • Reducing the body weight
  • Prevention of regaining the lost weight and regular maintenance
  • Safeguarding of nutrition and preventing dietary associated deficiencies

Risk factors includes:

  • Diet: Eating high-calorie foods, such as candy and desserts, fast foods, sugary drinks, baked goods.
  • Lack of exercise: Children who don’t exercise much are more likely to gain weight because they don’t burn as many calories.
  • Family factors: If your child comes from a family of overweight people, he or she may be more likely to put on weight.
  • Psychological factors: Personal, parental and family stress can increase a child’s risk of obesity. Some children overeat to cope with problems or to deal with emotions, such as stress, or to fight boredom.
  • Certain medications: Some prescription drugs can increase the risk of developing obesity such as (Gabapentin, prednisone, amitriptyline, lithium, and propranolol).

Consult with your doctor
BMI and growth charts for children should be used as a guide only. Your physician can help in assessing whether your child’s weight is of concern or not. Always think of making a appointment with your doctor to speak about your child’s weight.

How is a child’s risk for obesity determined ?

There are several tools your doctor might use to determine if your child is at risk for obesity, including:

  • Plotting your child’s BMI percentile yearly to see if there’s a sudden increase
  • Identifying babies who gain weight too rapidly in infancy; studies show that these babies are at risk for becoming overweight as they get older
  • Birth weight and gestational diabetes: these factors may increase a child’s risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life
  • A family history of obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, sleep apnea, and early heart attack; these factors can also put a child at increased risk for obesity and associated medical complications.

What are the symptoms of childhood obesity?

Each child may experience different symptoms but some of the most common include:

  • Appearance: Stretch marks on hips and abdomen; dark, velvety skin (known as acanthosis nigricans) around the neck and in other areas; fatty tissue deposition in breast area (an especially troublesome issue for boys)
  • Psychological : Poor self-esteem; eating disorders
  • Pulmonary: Shortness of breath when physically active; sleep apnea
  • Gastroenterological: Constipation, gastroesophageal reflux
  • Reproductive: Early puberty and irregular menstrual cycles in girls; delayed puberty in boys; genitals may appear disproportionately small in males
  • Orthopedic: Flat feet; knock knees

How is Childhood Obesity Treated?
Treatment for childhood obesity is provided based on the child’s age and presence of other medical conditions. Treatments are usually a combination of changes to the child’s eating habits and increased physical activity. Sometimes, medication may be prescribed for some adolescents as part of an overall weight-loss plan.

If your child is suffering from any of the above symptoms, and would like to get evaluated by a board-certified Pediatrician, you can call Quick MD Care at 972-645-9400 to make an appointment.

At Quick MD care, we strongly suggest regular preventive check-ups for your child so that you can identify early signs of childhood obesity. We are well-equipped with all the infrastructure, expertise and facilities to diagnose and treat childhood obesity. We are known for providing best-in-class service in treating and caring for your child. We serve patients from Frisco TX, Little Elm TX, The Colony TX, McKinney TX, Prosper TX, Aubrey TX, Oak Point TX, Lakewood Village TX, Plano TX, and Dallas TX.